Strong start to Aragon weekend for Redding

Strong start to Aragon weekend for Redding

Scott Redding was relaxed after finishing 12th quickest on the opening day of practice ahead of this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix. The Briton has brought the momentum of a first MotoGP podium of his career to Aragon and looked confident on his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS liveried Honda RC213V throughout the day at the Spanish circuit.

Some traffic baulked Redding during his fastest lap in the afternoon session and cost the British rider time. However, with almost perfect conditions at  Motorland Aragon the 22-year-old felt strong and comfortable on his Honda RC213V from the outset. Having been fifth fastest in the opening practice session Redding has shown that he has carried his recent form forward to Aragon.

The focus will now shift to finishing in the top ten of FP3 to ensure automatic progress to the QP2 shootout. Qualifying, or more accurately avoiding the opening qualifying session, has been a constant thorn in Redding’s side this year but with his confidence on the bike growing he is well placed for a strong weekend in Spain.

Scott Redding: 12th – 1’49.007

“I’m feeling okay after today. We still have the same problem on used tyres and we’re struggling for traction a little, but in the afternoon I felt good. When we put in the new tyre I was baulked a bit on my fastest lap so I’m not really disappointed because I don’t feel that this final position reflects where we are this weekend. I felt quite comfortable on the bike and now we’re going to try and find something to help with rear grip for free practice and qualifying tomorrow.”

Chris Pike: Chief Engineer

“It’s been another positive start to the weekend. We dropped outside the top ten in the second session but we were asking for a little bit too much from our front tyre with a new rear tyre fitted. But the balance of the bike is basically quite good this weekend and now we’re looking to find more consistent grip because we’re a little bit harsh on the tyres at the moment. We need to find something to help with that.”



Source: Strong start to Aragon weekend for Redding

Video Michelins new Starcross 5 MX tyre

Video Michelins new Starcross 5 MX tyre

HERE’S Michelin’s Starcross 5 MX tyre in action at the Michelin MX Nationals, with opinion on the new rubber from racers Luke Mellows, Alfie Smith, Graeme Irwin, Alex Snow and Niel Prince.

The tyre was launched at last weekend’s final round of the Michelin MX Nationals at Canada Heights in Swanley, Kent, where three Visordown competition winners collected a free pair at a VIP dinner with Suzuki, KTM and Husqvarna factory teams.

Michelin says it’s got a new lighter casing than its predecessor, the Starcross 4, offering improved straight-line traction, more progressive handling in corners, the ability to run higher pressures to reduce the risk of the tyre coming off the rim, and easier fitting. 

Irwin says of it: ‘On the way into the corner it seems the tyre rolls but just very slightly, which gives it more grip and more feel on the way in. 

‘It’s definitely a good change they’ve made. It’s kind of a scary thing whenever somebody brings a new tyre out. You’re like, the old one was good. Now it’s definitely a better tyre.’ 

Find out more here

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Source: Video Michelins new Starcross 5 MX tyre

The 2016 Diavel looks like this so what was that beltdrive thing caught on test

The 2016 Diavel looks like this so what was that beltdrive thing caught on test

Ducati Diavel Carbon 2016

DUCATI revealed the above lightly updated 2016 Diavel Carbon this week. All very exciting, but it raises a question: if the Diavel still looks like this, then what was that belt-drive thing we saw in spy shots in August and again this month.

Most of the bike press guessed it was a new Diavel taking a more cruiser-ish direction – and we fell into the same trap.

But while they’re sticking to their guns, we’ve reassessed. The updated Diavel Carbon lends weight to the idea that it is instead simply a new Ducati cruiser model and one of the nine new launches the Italian marque recently promised for the Eicma Milan show this November.  

Announcing that news, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said: ‘Two of these will take us into segments in which we’re currently not present.’

A model targeting the cruiser market would certainly do that, since many see the existing Diavel as more of a super-naked hybrid.

The feet-forward riding position of the spied machine, together with its increased steering rake angle (best seen here), also point to a new cruiser model rather than a new path for the Diavel. The trellis steel frame looks different too, attaching to the cylinder heads as on the Monster 1200 and 821 instead of extending to the sub-frame as on the current Diavel.

If we’re wrong, and it is a new Diavel, then the updated Carbon suggests it’s not due to be launched until 2017, and we’ll know when there’s no Ducati cruiser at Eicma. 

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Source: The 2016 Diavel looks like this so what was that beltdrive thing caught on test

April date for Mid Antrim 150 ‘not meant to offend’ rival organisers

April date for Mid Antrim 150 ‘not meant to offend’ rival organisers

Mid Antrim 150 Club Chairman Jack Agnew says he hopes the return of the Irish National road race in a proposed new April date slot in 2016 won’t cause any friction with his fellow race organisers.

Traditionally, the Cookstown 100 meeting has enjoyed the honour of being the first event on the road racing calendar, but that is set to change next year with the Mid Antrim provisionally pencilled in for the first Saturday in April.

Agnew revealed that the club has applied for Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 as its dates next year as the Mid Antrim makes a return after financial limitations forced the cancellation of the event in 2014 and 2015.

A new t**le sponsor – JFM Haulage – has been obtained for the first time since 1982 and Agnew hopes to have each of the individual race sponsors finalised by the end of November.

In years gone past, the Mid Antrim 150 was staged in August, although a new June date was tried in 2012 before the event reverted back to its usual August position the following season.

The April date switch – which still has to be ratified by the sport’s governing body, the MCUI Ulster Centre – has angered some officials within the Cookstown Club, but Agnew says the decision was taken primarily to minimise disruption to the pupils and staff at Clough Primary School, which is located on the 3.6-mile course.

“The dates we have applied for are April 1-2. If we receive confirmation from the MCUI, we will be the first Irish National road race next year,” Agnew said.

“One of the reasons for the change is because the July and August dates are full of road races with events like Armoy and the Ulster Grand Prix.

“But we also have a school on our course and we had initially aimed for the last Saturday in June as a possible date, which would tie in with the start of the school holidays,” he added.

“But to do that we would’ve needed the school closed down for a day and it wasn’t really suitable, so we went for the Easter date instead and if it works for us next year, we’ll be going for it every year: the Saturday after Easter, because the schools are closed for a fortnight up to that date and that gives us the opportunity to push on with course set-up and get everything set-up around the school without any problems.

“I don’t see any problems in getting the dates and I’ve sought the views on this from the [MCUI] Ulster Centre and the Southern Centre and no other events clash with us, so I don’t foresee a problem,” Agnew said.

“I don’t want to be offending anybody by running the Mid Antrim as the first road race of the year but it’s just the circumstances we find ourselves in.”

Agnew, though, admits that the earlier date would help to boost grid numbers at the Mid Antrim 150 and says he expects ‘anyone who’s a name in road racing’ to be on the entry list.

“If you look at the Cookstown and Tandragee races, they usually have 40 or 50 newcomers each year and we would certainly be expecting full grids in all classes,” he said.

“We would also be expecting anyone who is a name in road racing to be at the event.

“Everything is going very well for us and we have a t**le sponsor for the first time since 1982 and we hope to have all the individual sponsors on board by the end of November.”

The event will be held on the 3.6-mile Clough course, which has been in use since 1989.

Kyle White

Source: April date for Mid Antrim 150 ‘not meant to offend’ rival organisers

Suzuki to restore original GSXR750 at NEC bike show

Suzuki to restore original GSXR750 at NEC bike show

Suzuki GSX-R750 restoration

SUZUKI will strip-down and rebuild an original 1980s slab-side GSX-R750 as an attraction on its stand at the NEC bike show in November.

The bike will be restored with new parts over the course of Motorcycle Live, which runs from November 28 to December 6 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

Tim Davies, Suzuki GB’s Aftersales Marketing Co-ordinator for parts, said: ‘I really don’t think there’s a bigger icon in motorcycling than the original GSX-R750. It’s responsible for 30 years of sportsbikes as we know them today and also the popularity of the GSX-R brand. With plenty of celebrations planned around the anniversary at Motorcycle Live, we’re really looking forward to the project and hope that everyone that comes to the show is just as excited as we are to see it come together.’

The firm is also offering three GSX-R owners the chance to display their bike on its stand to help mark the 30th anniversary of the Gixer range. 

Find details on Motorcycle Live here.

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Source: Suzuki to restore original GSXR750 at NEC bike show